Program Structure

An overview of the program structure for the Penn State Smeal Master of Corporate Finance program

This 31-credit master program provides students with a solid understanding of the theory and practice of corporate finance, emphasizing the following analytical techniques: discounted cash flow, valuation, risk and return, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), corporate capital structure, capital budgeting, mergers and acquisitions, investment and financing decision-making and quantitative analysis.

Our MCF courses are taught by distinguished professors with world-renowned research expertise and practical knowledge and experience. These award-winning teachers, researchers, consultants, and authors specialize in brining complex business concepts to life.

Start with web resident courses in the summer and join us on campus at University park for your fall and spring semesters. Each semester is divided into 7-week modules to provide an immersive study of course content.

Summer Semester (Web Resident)

Duration: 13 weeks | Professor: Suzanne Wright

Accounting rules, practices, and applications that characterize the accounting presentations that for-profit organizations provide to the public. This course provides students with a foundation in the basic principles, procedures, and objectives of financial accounting that govern the reporting of information about a business to individuals, institutions, and other external groups.
Duration: 13 weeks | Professor: TBD

This course is designed to provide students with an exposure to the most commonly used statistical concepts, methods, and techniques, and their applications to business problems. The course covers the basic concepts of business statistics and data analysis using appropriate statistical software. The course emphasizes practical applications and business decision-making under uncertainty.

Fall Semester

Module I

Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Lou Gattis, Ph.D

This course provides a foundation in finance from the perspective of the firm. The objective is to show students that basic financial principles can be useful no matter the type of job taken. The two main topics of the course are: (1) how managers can use financial techniques to help them do their jobs and (2) how firms can use financial markets to solve financial problems.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Sajay Samuel, Ph.D.

Foundations in Management Accounting has two broad aims. First, it is designed to help students grasp the technical aspects of accounting for activities and processes within and between firms. Therefore, students will study methods of a) cost classification & estimation; b) cost measurement & allocation; c) profit planning; and d) evaluation and control of behavior. Second, the course emphasizes the context of managerial accounting.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Robert Everett, Ph.D.

This course provides a broad understanding of the pricing mechanism of the bond, equity, and foreign exchange markets. The course also gives students an overview of analytical methodologies that help market participants discern asset price from asset value.

Module II

Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Jess Cornaggia, Ph.D.

A broad exploration of international finance in the context of how a corporate strategic manager analyzes the complexities of international financial markets. In particular, the course develops a tool-kit of techniques to a) understand global market interconnectivity, b) value international financial instruments and c) analyze risk, hedging, and asset pricing strategies to secure strategic competitive advantage.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Jason Lunn, Ph.D.

Builds upon and reinforces the theoretical and institutional finance frameworks learned in introductory business finance.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Tony Kwasnica, Ph.D.

Construction and use of quantitative methods in business decision-making.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Tim Simin, Ph.D.

Topics covered include a review of the structure of the asset markets, basic pricing formulas, fundamental and technical analysis, and the different models relating risk and return, as well as portfolio management and derivative pricing. Statistical concepts such as mean, variance, covariance, and regression analysis will be used extensively throughout the course.

Spring Semester

Module III

Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Liang Peng, Ph.D.

The course provides students with working knowledge of some of the widely used quantitative methods and their applications in business, as well as using statistical analysis software to apply such methods for business analyses and decision-making. By the end of the course, students will understand the purposes of these methods and how to use them to solve real estate, financial, marketing, and risk management problems.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Robert Everett, Ph.D.

The aim of the capstone is to assess students' ability to synthesize and integrate the skills they have developed throughout their course work. The projects students tackle will mirror what they'll encounter on the job as a significant member of the corporate planning strategic management team. The course integrates topics and methodologies analyzed throughout the program, leading students to understand that corporate strategic analysis, and ultimately, the firm's ability to enhance shareholder value, is a holistic and multifaceted analytical process.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Svetla Vitanova, Ph.D.

An integrative study of financial management utilizing applied problems and case studies with the intention to provide both depth and breadth to students' knowledge of corporate finance. This course gives an overview of the key concepts, tools, and principles of both strategy formulation and competitive analysis utilized by the successful corporate manager.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Matthew Gustafson, Ph.D.

One of the most important skills MBAs develop in business school is the ability to demonstrate the value of their experiences. This course provides students with targeted opportunities to develop this skill as they clearly, forcefully, and professionally represent ideas, opinions, and solutions. Students will participate in various oral, written, and graphic projects during the course.

Module IV

Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Liang Peng, Ph.D.

The course provides students with working knowledge of some of the widely used quantitative methods and their applications in business, as well as using statistical analysis software to apply such methods for business analyses and decision-making. By the end of the course, students will understand the purposes of these methods and how to use them to solve real estate, financial, marketing, and risk management problems.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Robert Everett, Ph.D.

The aim of the capstone is to assess students' ability to synthesize and integrate the skills they have developed throughout their course work. The projects students tackle will mirror what they'll encounter on the job as a significant member of the corporate planning strategic management team. The course integrates topics and methodologies analyzed throughout the program, leading students to understand that corporate strategic analysis, and ultimately, the firm's ability to enhance shareholder value, is a holistic and multifaceted analytical process.
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: James Thomas, Ph.D.

This course focuses on the "strategic" challenges facing the multinational firm. The types of questions that we address are: Why do firms go abroad? What differentiates a "global" from a "multi-domestic" industry? What are the sources of competitive advantage in a global context? Why and when do/should companies engage in cross-border strategic alliances? What are the associated risks and how to guard against them? How do companies manage strategic change from one type of global strategy to another?
Duration: 7 weeks | Professor: Matthew Gustafson, Ph.D.

One of the most important skills MBAs develop in business school is the ability to demonstrate the value of their experiences. This course provides students with targeted opportunities to develop this skill as they clearly, forcefully, and professionally represent ideas, opinions, and solutions. Students will participate in various oral, written, and graphic projects during the course.